SBC plans to tackle dog fouling are ‘up in the air’

HAWICK councillor David Paterson admitted this week that future plans to tackle dog fouling were “up in the air”.

It comes after the announcement that the wardens service at Scottish Borders Council will be obsolete by 2014-15. It is understood the decision has prompted a fierce backlash from local community councils.

But Councillor Paterson (pictured), who is the executive member for environmental services, said there was little option for the cash-strapped council.

He said: “The council has got to look at ways of saving money. They’ve got to make big savings.

“Nobody wants to see cuts but you can only spend what you’ve got and that’s the harsh reality.

“If members of the public or community councillors can find any other way of making these savings then fine, but it has been looked at over and over again.”

In total, eight wardens are employed across the Borders, with the cost of the scheme totalling £264,000-a-year.

Two wardens currently cover the areas of Hawick, Newcastleton, Bonchester, Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys and Selkirk, addressing issues including dog fouling, fly tipping, littering and antisocial behaviour.

Councillor Paterson also slammed the criticism from Conservative MSP John Lamont, who believed more consultation should have taken place with regard the future of the service.

He said: “It’s all very well the Tory politicians saying we have to keep the wardens, but where else would we make the savings? Would they cut the budget for social work or education instead?”